Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gallus Quigley: A Subdivision Apart

Minneola, Florida, resident Gallus Quigley has gone native - and he’s persuaded his whole neighborhood to join him. Like many people, Quigley lives in a subdivision. The landscaping in such communities usually isn’t very enticing to birds, but Quigley wanted to change things up when he bought his home in October 2009. He envisioned a wildlife refuge of native plants.

The problem was how to get his neighbors to go along with it. Quigley became involved in the homeowners’ association that governed the subdivision, was elected secretary, and fnally persuaded the association to embrace native plants for future landscaping. It took more than two years of work, and it helped that Quigley could show other homeowners how he had successfully landscaped his own yard with native plants.

“Seeing something new makes it less scary,” he says.

Quigley explained to the other homeowners the benefts of native plants, such as less water use, lower maintenance costs, and more pollinators for vegetable gardens.

“The best part is that now the community has a unique entrance,” he says. “It isn’t like every other subdivision in the area.”

After some back-and-forth, Gallus Quigley convinced his
homeowner’s association to embrace native plants. Photo © Gallus Quigley
Quigley’s experience shows how one individual can change a whole community, one yard at a time. He says: “You just need to invest a little time and passion into it.”
Gallus Quigley works for Lake County as a land steward

Article from the May “Conservation and Community” issue of American Birding Association magazine; reprinted with permission

posted by Laurie Sheldon

Monday, February 23, 2015

Flagler Library Embraces Native Landscape

By Joan Bausch
Florida Native Plant Society
Martin County Chapter

A hearty "good job" to the Flagler Beach Library community and director, Ruth Young, for their initiative to subtract lawn and add Florida native plants at the library on 7th Street  (just west of A1A,  south of Route 100). Their efforts are noticed and welcome. Thank you Ruth and your collaborators!

Visiting in Flagler Beach in December, I found that the library there had installed some really nice natives to kick off of their goal of eliminating "lawn" care. I reached out Sonya Guidry, Paw paw Chapter Rep, and eventually recieved an email from Ruth Young, Library Director.

“With funds from our annual book sale, and the help of two special people, a local man who likes not to be recognized, Art Woosley, and MaryLou Baiata (now deceased), a local landscape business owner, this vision became a reality. Art did most of the work, with a little help from a few others. MaryLou was generous with her expertise and discounted prices on trees, plants and mulch. This was definitely a project of lots of labor and love. Please stop in if you are in the area sometime. Sincerely, Ruth Young, Director”

Sonya responded “...sounds as though we should make Flagler Beach Library part of a Flagler area Landscape tour.  Thanks for plugging a good deed well done!"

When you visit Flagler Beach, take a walk out along the natural Betty Steflick Memorial walkway that leads directly from the library to the greenway along the Intracoastal Waterway. You'll be delighted with this lovely natural area!
posted by Laurie Sheldon

Monday, February 2, 2015

Meet the New Officers of The Villages Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society!

By Karina Veaudry

New Villages Chapter Officers!
Inaugural Meeting

On Friday, January 30th, Steve Turnipseed, inaugural President, led The Villages Chapter inaugural meeting.  Steve had signed up interested persons through website and newspaper publicity ads and we were expecting 30 to 40 people.  By the start of the meeting, 162 people had filed in and we scrambled to set up enough chairs.  It was standing room only!  Within the first 15 minutes, a VP of Programs, VP of Field Trips, Secretary, Treasurer and Chapter Representative were confirmed.  Steve is a strong leader with excellent communication skills.  He has already given tasks and they are on their way to opening a bank account, etc. – and they have the next 4 months speakers recommended and are lining them up.  This chapter will be very successful.

I talked about the history of the FNPS, its mission, typical chapter meeting format, chapter initiatives, field trips, membership dues format, conference information, existing committees and their work, our research and conservation grants, landscape awards, etc.  Nancy Dwyer, President of the Sumter County chapter sent well wishes and Taryn Evans of the Marion Big Scrub Chapter attended the meeting and delivered a greeting and short presentation.

Not only did were officers and members secured, the new chapter had its first program with two speakers. The crowd was both energetic and enthusiastic.

New Memberships

150 membership forms were passed out.   We should expect the new membership forms to start arriving (online and mail-in paper form).  Steve has directed the Officers to join online so that he can record their membership number on the Chapter Approval Form and get it turned in before the BOD meeting on Saturday.  He will submit that form with the names and contact information of all the officers to the appropriate statewide officers and administrators by Friday, February 6th.

The house was packed!

Moving Forward

Devon Higginbotham, Kim Zarillo and Jonnie Spitler (State Finance and Treasury Officers) have already contacted the new chapter leaders and introduced themselves and will be assisting them in 501c3 (or not) set up. Anne Cox, FNPS President, will be attending a meeting within the next several months.

Steve Turnipseed, Villages Chapter President, and Susan, his wife, may be at the B.O.D. retreat at Archbold next weekend.  Please make sure to meet and greet them!


posted by Laurie Sheldon